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Sports Article
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Youthful Tribe Swim Team Sets Sights on Districts
Written by Ernie Quatrani Correspondent

Upper Perk swimmers are starting the season with heavy conditioning, including a lot laps, to get  in shape for 12 meets and Districts this year. The first meet will be at home against Quakertown on Friday, Dec. 9 at 3:45 p.m.

        The first laps of the long swim to the post-season officially began for the Upper Perk boys and girls swim teams last week. Fourth-year head coach Brien Kalnoski is enthusiastic about the prospects of a male group that returns five District qualifiers and a female team that will be led by two young, District returnees.

        With only eight members on each team, winning meets will be difficult, but the emphasis will be on individual development during the winter.

        "It is always challenging to win dual meets because we lack depth," Kalnoski noted. "However, I do expect with the swimmers that we have that we should be competitive in a number of our individual races this year."

        Co-captains Kevin Himmelwright, the lone senior on the team, and junior Joel Williams will be expected to set the tone for the youthful squad.

        "As a leader, [I try to] keep the team positive, work hard and tell them how fun it gets in postseason," Himmelwright explained. "Everyone's working very hard."

        At Districts last season, Himmelwright swam personal bests in the 200 Free (1:52.53) and 100 Backstroke (1:52.53). His goal for this season is to knock considerable seconds off both times.

        Williams also set personal bests at Districts in the 100 Fly (57.58) and 100 Back (59.70).  Other returnees also are coming off PR's at Districts: Cameron Junk in the 500 Free (5:13.63) and 200 Individual Medley (2:11.99); Dan Miller in the 200 Free (1:58.80) and 100 Back (1:02.24); and Kyle Kovalenko in the 200 Free (1:55.76) and 100 Breast (1:04.68).

        They will be joined by freshmen Trevor Cairns, Joe McGillen and Ben Himes.

        On the girls team sophomore co-captains Bailey McCausland and Maddie Madugno bring the experience of having made it to Districts last year.

        McCausland did personal bests in the 200 free (2:05.91) and 100 Breaststroke (1.11.85), and Madugno set personal records in the 50 Free (26.11) and 100 Free (57.45).

        Other returnees include Maddie Cairns, Lexi Sloyer, Faith Kilbride and Erin Dunphy.  Freshmen Noel Fresa and Jayme Fisher round out the team.

        According to McCausland, this year's team is composed of swimmers who "know how to swim" because they have honed their craft on club teams.

        "There's quite a few girls on the team who definitely have their sights set on Districts this year, and I really think they're going to make it."

        Practices include a lot of laps, and McCausland knows that the benefits of the heavy conditioning pays off at the taper that precedes the postseason.

        "The conditioning is definitely helping everyone elevate their amount of swimming and helping us prepare for the season that is coming," Bailey offered.

        "We go up in yardage every week, and that really helps, to have a gradual increase. Over Christmas, we go up to a little over 10,000 yards a day, which is really a lot."

        Kalnoski also sets aside practice time each day to re-teach the fundamentals of each stroke. New assistant coach Caity Fisher has handled that aspect of practice. Kalnoski, who coached Fisher in the Boyertown community and school programs, is ecstatic about her addition to the staff.

        McCausland credits Fisher, formerly a coach at Souderton, with sharpening the strokes of the swimmers.

        For extra motivation during the long hours in the pool, the team only needs to look at two of  its former members; last year's graduates, Kirstin Siwy and Mitchell Cairns are swimming in college and doing well.

        Siwy has already set school records at King's College, and Mitch Cairns is swimming the 1,000 yard Freestyle at Lafayette.






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